Warning: Mild language
I felt Jupiter’s muscles as his hooves hit the ground and propelled him forwards.
I loved horseback riding. It was more than a privilege, it was a pleasure.
Simply riding with Jupiter was fun, but participating in competitions with him against others was an absolute thrill.
The thumping of the hooves, the rush of adrenaline, the competitive side that takes over…When we ride against others…it almost feels like Jupiter and I are just one. Just one entity running like crazy, sometimes with and sometimes against the wind.
It’s an exhilarating feeling. So naturally, I’m incredibly excited for the next competition coming up in a few weeks.
And I will absolutely not let that deter me. That being Teo Castillas. I was shocked to find out that Teo, one of the three bullies (Edmund, Oliver, Teo) who has it in for me, did some horseback riding himself.
Not only did he horseback, he even participated in competitions! And he wasn’t half bad either. At least I know for sure he didn’t have as much experience as I do when it comes to competitions. I doubt he’ll beat me.
But that’s not really what worries me.
So far I don’t think he’s actually recognized me yet (that conclusion comes from the fact that he hasn’t even looked at me), which is a very good thing. Worse thing I need is for those three to start bullying me around here and risk the chance of my parents catching them. Or even worse, have them try to convince me to let Teo beat me during the competition.
Long story short, I’m keeping my head low and so far it’s working.
Once I headed to the side to take a break for both Jupiter and I a blue-haired journalist approached me.
“Hi Mr. Jales!” She called out with a wide smile. “My name is Nixannne Whitelight and I was hoping I could ask you a few questions.
Mom had warned me that as I won more and more competitions I’d be getting a bit more attention, in particular from the media.
And anyway this wasn’t the first journalist (though she did seem like the nicest) who’d come to me.
I got off Jupiter.
I took off my helmet as well. As much as I loved horseback riding, the helmet was probably the worst of it. It’d started to get too small a good while ago, but I didn’t have enough money to buy myself a new one. So far now I’m stuck with one that squeezes my head just a bit too much.
“That’s a very gorgeous horse. Jupiter’s his name right?”
“Yep.” She smiled at my one-word response.
“Okay, can I call you Xavier?” She asked and I nodded my approval. “Well Xavier, this is going to be your sixth competition in Legacy Island II right? And so far you’ve won three of those, do you think you’ll win this one as well?”
Sometimes it really scares me how much journalists actually know.
“Well that’s what I’m aiming for.”
“You’re on a pretty good start as well, are you planning on making a career as a horseback rider?” She was asking questions I’d already been asked before.
“As long as nothing happens, that’s essentially what I’m going for.” That’s not entirely true. I have no idea what I want my career future to be, but I’m not going to start babbling about how unsure I am of my future. Might as well come up with an answer and stick with it till I find what I actually want to do.
She asked me a few more questions and then thanked me for my time, adding a ‘good luck on the competition’.
Is it weird that I felt like I should know her? Or that she should know me? It’s hard to explain…This woman was different than what I expected and got from most journalists, yet I don’t think that’s what gave me this weird feeling.
Maybe there was something in her face that seemed familiar…Well whatever, it didn’t really matter anyway.
After the journalist left – and I’d taken my break – I spent the rest of my Saturday afternoon practicing with Jupiter until he let me know he’d had his fill. Good thing too cause my ass was really starting to hurt.
“Dang Teo, don’t bring that thing so close!” Oliver’s voice ran through the clearing and made my blood freeze.
I didn’t need to anyways since I could easily guess who the three guys were near the entrance. And here I was actually hoping I wouldn’t run into these guys.
If today is my lucky day, they won’t notice me past by and I’ll be able to go meet up with Erin with no problems what so ever.
Unfortunately, I was so focused on not looking at them to not attract attention…I missed Edmund elbowing Oliver and gesturing towards me. So it’s not surprising that I didn’t see Oliver coming.
He waited for the right moment before suddenly jumping out in front of Jupiter with a nice loud shout and frantic hand movements.
Jupiter was completely taken aback by surprise and the only thing he thought of doing was well…throwing me off his back.
I was thrown off, my back painfully hitting the ground. My helmet – which I’d started to loosen since I had been planning on getting off Jupiter the normal way – slipped over my face hitting my nose harshly.
Instantly, three laughs erupted in front of me.
“I think you might need some training wheels! Can’t even stay on your horse!”
With my head spinning, I cautiously stood up.
My nose was throbbing and droplets of blood were falling to the ground. I let out a groan as I realized my nose was dripping with blood. God I hope it didn’t break!
“Oh damn! Look at his face! He doesn’t even need us to beat himself up!” The taunts and laughs continued, but I got to my feet anyway and grabbed Jupiter’s reins.
I walked off with Jupiter, leaving those three with high hopes that they’d die of laughter.
Once we’d gotten out of earshot I cast Jupiter an unhappy look.
“Couldn’t you have at least trampled him instead of throwing me off?” I asked.
Jupiter snorted and shook his mane in response.
I touched my wounds as I waited for Erin to come. My nose had bled just a little too much and apparently my nose hadn’t been the only thing hit. A little bit of skin had gotten scraped off my cheeks.
“F*ck, it hurts.” I groaned as I dabbed my face with a wet napkin.
“You know the rules Xavier.” The bar tender warned. Erin and I were regulars. She knew we weren’t yet old enough to drink, but I think she takes pity on us.
“Yeah, yeah, no blood on the counter.” I said, wincing as I dabbed a little too harshly.
Another customer walked up to the bar tender whose name I actually never thought to ask. She’s so nice, I should’ve thought of asking her name.
“The regular?” The lady asked with an unsure and hesitant voice.
“Hon, you’re going to have to enlighten me on what your usual is.”
She must’ve stumbled onto the wrong bar. I checked out the way she was dressed. Maybe she mistook this for a nightclub? Even though it’s clearly a sports bar.
She let out a humorless laugh. “Worth a try no?”
“What’ll it be?”
“I’ll just take a soda.”
The lady caught me looking at her.
“That’s a pretty nasty wound you’ve got there.” She said giving me the feeling of being examined.
“It looks worse than it is.” I replied with a nervous smile.
The bar tender handed the lady’s drink over, and the lady in question decided to sit beside me.
“My name’s Story Teller.” She said, casually taking a sip of her drink.
I couldn’t help myself. I let out a chuckle.
“When you’re done finding this funny, you can tell me your name.”
“I’m Xavier Jales, and let’s be honest, you can’t really blame me.” I said. “Especially if that’s your real name.”
“No I guess I can’t. And it’s the only name I’ve got…unless you feel like calling me The Writer. I’m sure that’s fine too.” She replied. A confused smile spread on my lips. She was weird.
“So what? Your parents expected you to become a writer when you grew up? Did you?”
“Heh…I guess you could say that? Either way, I am a writer. A writer who has trouble following the story.” She sighed with a weak smile.
“Feel like elaborating?” I asked.
“Sure why not? You won’t remember it anyway.”
Dang, is it me or is she in some serious need of self-confidence?
“I’m a writer, a story teller, whose only purpose in life is to write about a single family. It’s a very special and important family and truth is this isn’t a very hard job at all. I only have to record everything I see. But I need to be by this family’s side…which is my current problem. Has been for years now. I can’t seem to find the characters, the people this story concerns.” She said with slight frustration.
“You’re missing inspiration?” I attempted to conclude.
“Ha! In a way I guess you could say that. But no. I have literally lost track of the family I’m supposed to write about. I can’t find them!”
“Oh so you’re writing a biography or some sort about an existing family?” I asked.
“Yes. Basically. And it’s annoying because I lost track of them at the very beginning of the story! Just when it was supposed to start. I hadn’t expected the mother of the founder to run off with the eldest son of the family’s heir! I thought she would stay with the Whitelight family to raise her daughter. It was ideal! A nice rich and stable home, but no she preferred to start on her own terms. I wasn’t able to predict it, and when I found her again, dead, her daughter had run off to start her story. A story I was supposed to record! It took me forever to find out she’d settled down in Twinbrook. And it’s only by chance that I ran into some very colorful people, named Paul and Mimi I think. Without them I probably would’ve never learned that her pink-haired descendant was living in Twinbrook. Unfortunately when I got there the house was already empty! I found where Cain had moved, but he wasn’t the main character anymore and even he had no idea where his own daughter was. And now I’ve finally found my way here to Legacy Island II, but I’m afraid I might be a bit too late. I don’t know where to look to find the Whitelights. I actually thought you might be one, but you said your last name was Jales so that’s impossible.” She monologued before finally taking a sip from her drink. I somehow actually managed to understand half of what she just said.
“Well hey, I know a Whitelight.” I said. This was actually a pretty damn creepy coincidence. She looked at me in surprise.
“You do? Who?”
“Nixanne Whitelight. She’s a journalist.” I replied.
She gave me a grateful smile. “Thank you, for actually listening to what I said.”
I shrugged. Listening is easy.
“You probably won’t remember it but…I see that you’re a witch.” She stated. I looked at her in surprise. Was it really that obvious? How did she figure it out? She waved her hand as if it really wasn’t important for me to know that. “I’m very knowledgeable when it comes to witches and witchcraft. So to thank you, you can ask me whatever you want.”
Anything? Well, there is something I’ve been wondering…
“Alright, how do you cast spells? Like actual spells?” I inquired.
She laughed. “Of all questions, you ask me that?”
“I’m still a beginner and all I can cast is light shows!” I answered a bit flustered.
“No it’s fine, it’s fine. Casting a spell is simple. All you need is a wand and some imagination. Spells require incantations. So you just have to say what you want aloud while using your magic. The more creative your lines are, the stronger the spell.” She answered with a smile.
“Oh okay, thanks.” I said. It did sound pretty damn simple.
She stood up from her chair, sending a nod to the bar tender who picked up her empty glass.
“I often see you here, with your friend, complaining about the people who bully you.” She said, which made me tense up. That’s very weird, I’ve never seen her around before. “I just wanted to say…stop letting them walk all over you. You have to let them know you want them to stop.”
Easier said than done. “I’ve never seen you around before.” I comment, feeling highly suspicious of her now.
“Oh you have you just don’t remember. And you won’t remember this time either.” She stated simply.
“Why do you keep saying that? I like to think I have a pretty good memory.” I replied angrily.
“Trust me. You won’t remember a thing.” She said as she headed out the door.
Won’t remember her? Hmph, I still remember her right now. Some people are really pretentious. Deciding that I won’t remember her…god.
I slumped on the bar as I felt the urge to scratch the dried blood on my face.
I can’t believe that a**hole jumped in front of Jupiter. Someone could’ve died! And someone got hurt. Not that they care. I’m sure those three would be absolutely overjoyed if I got hit by a car.
Erin finally arrived and slipped into the seat next to me.
“Hey! Who was that you were talking to?” She asked.
“What? No one. I’ve been waiting here all alone for your procrastinating ass to get here.” I snapped. The bar was practically empty, no one had come to see me. Not that anyone in their right mind would, what with my face half painted in red.
“Woah stingy.” Erin mocked as she gave a quick wave to the bar tender. Then she looked at my face. “Holy hell! What happened?”
“They happened.” I replied as the bar tender prepared our drinks.
For the next hour or so – I totally lost track of time – Erin and I complained, laughed, drank and just talked about whatever. It was a routine of ours on Saturdays. We both needed to bitch about things, and we’d made this bar our ranting place.
“Oh give it up already!” I exclaimed.
“No serious, maybe you’re actually both.” Erin tried again. She got so annoying with this subject!
“Nope, pretty sure, I’m gay and only gay.” I stated while taking another sip.
“But you haven’t been in any romantic relationships! You can’t be that certain…”
“I think the fact that we both cheer when some guy takes off his shirt on t.v. should be more than enough proof.” I laughed.
“I’m not doubting your gayness-”
“Lol gayness…” I chuckled, and Erin playfully punched my arm.
“There is nothing serious about this conversation.”
“I’m saying, maybe you actually like girls too!”
“Nope, pretty sure I don’t.”
“Humor me.” Erin said in a scary serious tone. She placed her hand on my shoulder, standing over me almost intimidatingly. I realized what she wanted to do.
I shrugged. “If it’ll convince you.”
Erin bent down and kissed me.
Really just to humor her I watched to see if she was right in the end. She wasn’t.
“My…face…hurts…” I mumbled and she pulled away slightly irritated.
“Well?” She asked.
I faked actually considering it.
“Yeah no sorry. Didn’t do much. Told ya.” I said with a smirk. I was right! She should’ve just listened to my judgement.
“Darn it!” She groaned, slumping back into her seat.
“Oh come on it’s not that bad. You knew that’d be the result.” I said trying to keep my grin from spreading on my face.
“Shuuuuttt uupppppp…” She groaned, banging her head on the bar.
I laughed and immediately stopped as my face stung at the action.
“You’ll have to go with-”
“Don’t you dare say Oliver again! I’ve unfortunately realized that you were right about him. He has a freaking crush on me…” She snapped, sticking her finger in my face.
“I wasn’t going to.” I practically growled.
“Finally. Only took your face getting smashed up for you to get mad at them.” Erin said.
“I’ve always been mad at them.” I said, reaching for my drink before realizing the bar tender had already taken them away.
“Yeah, but now you actually look mad.”
“Shouldn’t be so surprising! Horseback riding is going to be NOT fun anymore! Those a**holes are going to make it horrible.” I said, my hands curling into fists.
“You gonna do something about it?” Erin grinned as she saw my face.
“I wish I could teach them a lesson. Get them to leave me the frick alone.” I said, anger boiling inside me. So much that a little spark of light erupted from my fingertips.
“Hey watch it. Magic gets you kicked out of here.” The bar tender warned. I mumbled a sorry and flexed the fingers that had released the magic.
“You were right Erin.” I said after a few seconds.
“I need to fight back. I don’t like being pushed around like this! I need to make them stop.” I said. Even though I was slightly drunk, I somehow knew this was a decision I’d stick to.
“That’s the spirit!”
“If I manage to get them to back off, you have to promise you’ll do the same. You have to fight back too.” I demanded. Erin nodded.
“Yes sir, I promise, promise that I’ll be as brave as you! So what are you gonna do? Cause let’s be honest, you aren’t, really strong enough to beat them up.” Erin inquired.
“True, but Ed is-”
“What’s this? A nickname?”
“Shut up. Edmund is the ‘leader’. If I get him to screw off the others’ll probably get bored of me. Edmund is the one who has it against me.”
“So watcha ya gonna do? Tattle tale? Kill him?”
“No. I’m gonna use his fear against him. When I get the opportunity, I’ll freak him out to the point where he won’t even want to look at me anymore.” I stated proudly.
“Ooooh I’m excited to see the results.”
Said opportunity came faster than I expected it to.
A week or so later, I walked into the bathroom to find Edmund was the only one there.
Normally my first reaction would be to back out, close the door, and come back in ten minutes. This time, I somehow found the courage to go in anyways. Or maybe it was my frustration that drove me to it. Either way.
I silently closed the door and I found I wasn’t as nervous as I expected myself to be. Granted, I was still stressed to the point where my palms were probably already sweating, but…one is a lot easier to deal with than three. And even if Edmund is the one calling the shots…well he’s the least worst of the three in a way.
But even so, I found myself wishing for some courage, so much that I ended up muttering something while letting a little bit of magic seep from my fingers.
“Give me courage.”
I froze, frowning at myself. Since when do I know how to cast spells?
“Hey! You’re blocking the door.” Edmund snapped, and I felt his glare in my back.
I expected myself to tense up, grab the door handle and walk out. That’s probably what I would’ve done if I hadn’t cast that spell.
My heart rate was normal, I felt confident, and I felt like I shouldn’t be taking this sh*t from him. For once I felt like a million options lay before me. I could walk out, I could stay, I could punch, I could reason, I could…so many things. I was in complete control of myself. I could decide and not rely on a flight or fight response.
I spun around and with a confident tone, said a simple ‘no’.
He let out an irritated sigh. “Get the f*ck of the way.” He said through clenched teeth.
What’s this? I’m not scared? I could actually laugh.
“No.” I said again with a smirk. “Not unless you ask nicely.”
I felt like I was acting like a jerk, and boy did that feel good right now.
“Dang it! Don’t be a dumbass and get your stupid ass out of the way.” He spat angrily.
I faked being deeply insulted.
“Come on. You can do better than that on the nice scale! Or are you just incapable of kindness?” I spouted out. He rolled his eyes and sighed at the same time as if what I was saying really didn’t matter. As if I wasn’t worth his time. And that just made me angrier.
“Is that all you can do? Shout at people so they get out of the way?” I asked pushing him away from the door. He clenched his fists and opened his mouth to probably say more dumb stuff, but I interrupted him. “Why do you even have it out for me? What did I ever do to you?”
“Shut up and walk away before I punch you.” He threatened. But I didn’t give a damn!
I gave him another angry push, sending him onto the sink.
I closed in, preventing him from leaving. I leaned in close, he was going to hear every single word I had to say.
“You’re threatening me again! You don’t get it do you?” I confronted. I could feel my heart beat start to quicken and my courage falter as he glared at me from such a short distance. The spell must be wearing off…but either way I’m not backing out now. “Stop f*cking bullying me. It looks like you’ve got some pretty deep problems, but how about you take them out on someone else okay?”
“Get off.” He demanded as he squirmed nervously.
“Does this make you uncomfortable?” I mocked, well aware of his little ‘homophobic’ nonsense. “I’ll move away, if you either promise to stop getting on my case or at the very least tell me why you have it in for me.”
“Well?” I asked trying to keep my voice stable. This closeness was getting to me as well, we were only inches apart. I wasn’t feeling too comfortable at being this close, but I needed my point to get across.
“I can’t tell you that.” He said in a low voice, but I was so close I didn’t have any trouble hearing. His eyes avoided mine, drooping down.
I didn’t feel very in control of the situation anymore. I wasn’t too sure what was happening anymore. My heart was beating harshly against my rib cage and it felt like my hands were going to slip off the sink due to the sweat accumulating on them.
And to make it worse, the fact that it seemed like he was staring at my lips made my cheeks start to burn.
This wasn’t going exactly like I thought it would.
I took a step back, and he took a step forward.
A weird nervous feeling erupted in my stomach, and I swear my heartbeat was as loud as a stereo at this point.
I tried to take another step back, but he grabbed my wrist and pulled me forwards to the point where our noses were almost touching.
I swear I could distinctly feel heat emanating from him…I wasn’t aware of anything but his hand on my wrist, his face inches from mine and my nervous gut feeling.
We were close…just a few centimeters forwards and we were actually going to kiss. And I wanted it. I wanted to move forwards, but…I was frozen. This was an unpredictable guy who had a tendency to bully me. Yet the words jerk weren’t really going through my head at this moment. Not when we were so close I could feel his breath on my lips. I didn’t know how to act, I didn’t know what to do.
I could feel his hand on my face and I knew he wanted to lean in as well.
But instead, he clamped a hand on his mouth and pushed me aside.
I let him push me to the side as he ran pas me and out the door.
I stood there, unmoving, as the door closed with a clak.
I waited for my heartbeat to go at a normal rhythm again.
But it didn’t and I felt my legs weaken. I didn’t think they could support my weight anymore.
F*ck. That happened.
I am so…*breathes* so happy with this chapter. *tries to keep pokerface and not squeal*
Such happiness (kay not really)…This chapter (in particular the ending) is now a personal favorite. Check out them poses too ;D
*AHEM* So like two more chapters left. Start making your cccchhhoooiiiccceee….